Friday, September 17, 2010

Caramel Apple Doughnuts

Yes you read the title right, and yes the doughnuts are as sticky and decadent as the title!  I was excited to see the arrival of apples at the farmstand, some gravensteins were screaming, pick me, pick me!  So home with mommy they went.

The leap from apples to doughnuts was an interesting one.  My daughter and her friend had a sleepover and in the morning, they were telling me how much they wanted doughnuts; I was in my sweats with no makeup, hair uncombed, you get the idea, no way I was heading to the store.  Halloween has been on my mind already.  Something about apples brings me straight back to when the girls were little; we had a huge Halloween party every year and all the kids loved bobbing for apples.  One of the favorite treats I always made for the parties was caramel apples.  I married the two and made the girls some caramel apple doughnuts for breakfast, they were so happy.

Doughnut Dough
1/2 cup milk, warmed to 105-110 degrees
1/2 cup water, warmed to 105-110 degrees
4 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast (or 2 packets)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 cups flour
zest from 1 lemon

In bowl of mixer combine milk, water and yeast.  Let proof for five minutes, till foamy.

This is what your yeast should look like if it's active:

Tip for you:  I put the water and milk together in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute it's the perfect temp. and my yeast always proofs.  If it doesn't foam up after a couple of minutes, your yeast is old, get rid of it. 

Place bowl with proofed yeast mixture onto mixer and add butter, sugar, eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest, and flour.  Using dough hook, mix for about 3-5 minutes on low speed till dough is nicely combined and still soft.  Cover dough with towel and let rise for 2 hours till doubled; it should look like it took a breath of fresh air.  You can make the dough without a mixer.  Just mix by hand and knead for a couple minutes.

Apple Filling
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 small apples diced 1/4"
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cold water + 1 tsp. cornstarch (dissolve two together)

Heat a skillet to medium heat, add butter, apples, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, sugar, and dissolved cornstarch mixture.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, till apples are softened and mixture is thickened.  Cool and set aside.

If you want to preserve fall apples so you will be ready for recipes like this all year visit my friend The Mom Chef, she has a fantastic recipe for apple pie filling.

Put flour on your cutting board and add half of the risen dough.  Roll to 1/8" thick and cut out circles with a round cookie cutter about 3-4" in diameter.

Lay circles on cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat and put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round.

Create an egg wash; combine 1 egg and 2 teaspoons of water and beat till combined.  Brush outside edges and place another round on top, press lightly to seal and allow them to rise for about 2 hours till they've doubled in size.  You may want to flip them half way through so the outside will form a crust and not be sticky.  It helps so the doughnut absorbs less oil and they are bit easier to handle.

Heat a heavy pot filled half way with canola oil to 375 degrees F.  Then drop a couple in at a time.  Cook till browned on one side and flip till browned on the other, only takes a couple of minutes total.  Lay them on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to drain before glazing.

For the glaze melt some Dulche de Leche, you can find it in the market in the Mexican section.  If they don't have any you can make a classic caramel with sugar, water and a little heavy cream.




  1. Uh I love love love these doughnuts and I love how you used the apples! I want one...or two, please!

  2. I'm with Sara! I want one or five of these! lol
    They look delicious!

  3. I was thinking about making caramel apples, but always remembered never finishing them. These doughnuts I can most certainly finish!!! These will be made for sure! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Your apple doughnuts looks very delicious, and with caramel to top it off, a perfect Fall treat.

  5. Those look sooooo good, excuse me while I wipe the drool off my face. What a fantastic idea! :) LOVE it!

  6. So yummy, next you'll have the bacon:) I have trouble making things with yeast, so I don't try, but I should.

  7. Wow, these look totally decadent, and bravo for making a filled donut, those are really difficult!

  8. These are beautiful and be they tasted out of the this world. My husband is a complete doughnut fan - need to make these. Enjoy your weekend.

  9. Awesome combo, I love dulce de leche!

  10. I love the combination! Dulce de leche sounds truly wonderful to pour all over the doughnuts!

  11. Thanks everyone, next time I whip some up, I'll be sure and invite you all over!

  12. Oh my goodness! Those look darn good. Please add me to the invite when you make them again!! =)

  13. I wish my mom would have made me doughnuts back in the day of sleepovers! What a lovely treat :) That filling looks delicious!

  14. This looks so delicious.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  15. OH. MY. GAWSH! These sound absolutely amazing...and super addicting! Beautiful. =)

  16. My mom made homemade doughnuts a few times a year and I still remember how much we all liked them. You have created a fabulous version here with a well thought out recipe with great step by step photos, thanks for sharing:)

  17. AH-MAZING!!! Holy cow these look so good! Beautiful pictures too!

  18. I love the caramel apple flavor combination...especially in the fall, in doughnut form :) Delicious!

  19. Oh swoon. And since I um, just happen to have apple pie filling, I think I have no choice but to try these! :)

  20. OH my! GIna these look so good. I love the recipe. Who needs a doughnut shop, when you can have GIna! (=

  21. Gina, these donuts are incredible looking. Awesome flavor combination! I would love to eat a few of those for sure! Those are some lucky kids you have :o)

  22. Can I just say "wow"! These look absolutely amazing! I can't think of a better way to celebrate the advent of fall than with one of these delicious apple treats. Thank you so much for sharing it with me...I'm hungry now!